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Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

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Old 02-19-11, 09:42 AM   #1
Barrettscv 
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Is your favorite bike completely trustworthy and supportive?

It’s a strange question, I know. Mine is.

My winter bike is a vintage bike and is a little less compatible than my favorite bike. I took a fall on the winter bike this week when the quick release skewer broke and the axle slipped forward. The second such fall on the bike this year. I don’t like old-school horizontal drop-outs and the skewers are not up to the task of holding the axle in place. I’ll fix that, and the winter bike will be trustworthy again... ... I hope.

Friday I rode my best bike for the first time in several weeks. My best bike is a 2008 steel Cyclocross bike. It fits the best of all my bikes. It’s about 98% as fast as my Ti road bike. It shifts intuitively and has well spaced gears across a huge range. It’s has the smoothest ride. It’s the bike I ride most often. It’s the best bike for a 200k event. It is the most versatile bike and can be taken off-road. It can carry light loads as a commuter. It has vertical dropouts that are fail safe.

Being back on this bike made me feel confident again. I can totally trust that bike. Zero issues in 8000 miles of riding. I trust that bike with my life, and it has transformed my physical fitness.

Is it wrong to love a bike?

Last edited by Barrettscv; 02-19-11 at 10:09 AM.
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Old 02-19-11, 09:47 AM   #2
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No, it is not wrong to love a bike. We love our tandem and I only ride my Giant Al OCR1 rarely. The ride on the steel daVinci tandem is soooo much better than my single and at speeds up to 50 mph (fastest we've been) it's like being on rails.
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Old 02-19-11, 10:05 AM   #3
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Discounting a couple of flats over the years, I've never had a bike I owned treat me badly. This in spite of how I've treated them.
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Old 02-19-11, 10:20 AM   #4
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I don’t like old-school horizontal drop-outs and the skewers are not up to the task of holding the axle in place. I’ll fix that, and the winter bike will be trustworthy again... ... I hope.
What kind of skewers because there's a huge difference? The best ones are genuine Shimano or Campy - the ones that have the mechanism hidden. They clamp a lot more tightly than most of the other ones that have a visible cam.

I have some hyper expensive titanium Flip Offs on my recumbent but I wouldn't trust them on a bike with horizontal dropouts. I'd much prefer basic Shimano quick releases for that.
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Old 02-19-11, 10:26 AM   #5
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What kind of skewers because there's a huge difference? The best ones are genuine Shimano or Campy - the ones that have the mechanism hidden. They clamp a lot more tightly than most of the other ones that have a visible cam.
See: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ontal-dropouts
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Old 02-19-11, 10:29 AM   #6
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I have been thinking there's something wrong with me. I mean, I assumed I was becoming a classic old man going senile. My girlfriend even tells people about how I have to have my bike near me, just to have comfort of seeing her. I'm glad folks don't know about me talking to my bike - they would lock me up for sure!

I'm so thankful that I bought my GT Xizang when I did. Back in 1995, I had been shopping for a replacement for a Diamondback that had been stolen a second time and I discovered this awesome titanium-framed GT Xizang. It was a lot of money at the time, but I was starting to do a number of consistent real estate brokerage deals again and the money was coming in with regularity (real estate comes and goes - it's basically gone now).

So I bought "Lady Xizang" brand new in 1995, and I've had her more places than I can recall over the past 16 years. I'm more in love with her every day. She's steady and reliable. I sure wish I could find a woman as good as her!

Yup - it's possible to be in love with our bikes. :-)

PS: I was confessing just yesterday afternoon to my girlfriend that I have an affair going with another 'lady'. She's beautiful, only 16 and very slender and light weight. My girlfriend just smiled, knowingly...

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Old 02-19-11, 11:01 AM   #7
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Interesting.

Since you have such a history of the axle slipping in this bike you obviously have a problem that goes beyond just the horizontal drop outs. When you figure out what it is I hope that you share it with us.
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Old 02-19-11, 04:22 PM   #8
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Boreas has horizontal dropouts and I have never had the wheel slip. Aluminium frame and Ultegra QR's and I can't see how the wheel can move. I Never do the QR's up real tight either--just tight enough to keep the wheel in place. In other words--Never overtightened.



It may not be my favourite form of drop out but it works.

But as you can see- The wheel is set far forward in the dropouts so I can't see how it can move.

But as to the bike being Trustworthy- It has to be- otherwise the mechanic would get the sack.
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Old 02-19-11, 04:39 PM   #9
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Boreas has horizontal dropouts and I have never had the wheel slip. Aluminium frame and Ultegra QR's and I can't see how the wheel can move. I Never do the QR's up real tight either--just tight enough to keep the wheel in place. In other words--Never overtightened.



It may not be my favourite form of drop out but it works.

But as you can see- The wheel is set far forward in the dropouts so I can't see how it can move.

But as to the bike being Trustworthy- It has to be- otherwise the mechanic would get the sack.
My winter bike has forward facing horizontal dropouts. Most older bikes have this design. Your modern bike has track style dropouts.

Most modern multispeed bikes have vertical drop-outs. These will not slip either.

Last edited by Barrettscv; 02-19-11 at 04:44 PM.
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Old 02-19-11, 05:22 PM   #10
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My QRs are in a box somewhere. I don't have the finger strength to open them without some sort of prying tool. Since I need to use a tool to operate QRs, I might as well use skewers designed for tools, so I replaced them with bolt-ons. The commuting bikes use security bolt-ons (Pitlocks). Side benefit is that I've never had a bolt-on skewer come loose.

As for bikes, all of mine are trustworthy and supportive. All it takes is a little TLC. Each fills a different role, so as long as I use a bike appropriate to the task, all is well.
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Old 02-20-11, 09:35 AM   #11
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I have never had a bike fail me. However I have had at least 2 micro pumps fail. Thats why I now carry co2 cartridges with still another pump as back up.

Bikes are reliable enough with good preventive maintence that they should almost never fail on the road.
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Old 02-20-11, 10:04 AM   #12
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I do all my own mechanical work, so my bikes are in tip-top shape. Obviously, I have complete faith in my work. And obviously, I have just jinxed myself.
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Old 02-20-11, 10:51 AM   #13
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OK, Geeky bike tech here;

I've determined that the failure with my winter bike is not due to any issue with the workmanship or maintenance. The problem stems from using a modern Dura Ace hub on a vintage bike. Modern hubs are designed for vertical drop-outs. The quick release skewer and the locking nut that contacts the frame is smaller in diameter and not as hard as the old school items. Modern rear hubs are held in by gravity, torque and the quick release skewer. The axle would probably stay in place without a skewer if the pavement was perfectly smooth. Horizontal drop-outs depend on the quick release skewer and the locking nut that contacts the frame to keep everything in place. The pull on the chain can pull the axle forward on horizontal drop-outs.

The modern skewers, along with the modern hub, are the reason to the slipping. The Dura Ace hub was designed to win the TDF on a bike with vertical drop-outs. My riding style might be a factor too. I do tend to get out of the saddle and put all my 210 lbs on each leg while cranking from a stop. The chain is pulling the axle forward on the drive side under this load.

One adjustment I’m going to try is to let the axle move as far back as possible in the drop-out before clamping the quick-release shut. I'm backing out the adjustment screw to achieve this.

Currently the axle is positioned in the EO location, about mid-point on the drop-out. The lock-nut on the hub and the quick-release only clamp on the upper and lower portion of the drop-out. Only two small crescent shaped sections are holding the axle in place on each side, one at 1 O’clock and another at 7 O’clock.

By moving the axle back, the lock-nut on the hub and the quick-release will grip a larger “C” shaped area, from 5 O’clock to 3 O’clock. This might make a difference.

I’m also going to test ride the bike up a grassy hill, cranking hard at low speed as I climb. Better to fail there than on the streets.

Last edited by Barrettscv; 02-20-11 at 10:55 AM.
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Old 02-20-11, 10:57 AM   #14
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I've never had a bike I owned treat me badly.
I had one in high school. It was a used 3 speed that my father bought for my brother and me. I did the road test on it before we bought it, and while everything functioned properly, I got a really bad vibe from it. I reported my findings to Dad. He bought it anyway. I can't remember all what it did any more, but remember it living up to its promise. My brother finally left it unlocked in a bad neighborhood and walked home.
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Old 02-20-11, 12:07 PM   #15
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...
One adjustment I’m going to try is to let the axle move as far back as possible in the drop-out before clamping the quick-release shut. I'm backing out the adjustment screw to achieve this.

....
Based upon your description, why don't you just remove the adjustment screws+springs entirely? If your frame is straight and Trek built it right (+ the guy who cold set it to 130 made sure the faces were parallel), the wheel should be centered between the stays and you'd have the maximum amt of dropout to grab onto. In addition, you could try 1) an older skewer set with more area and bite to work with, and/or 2) those star washers you were thinking about earlier, but you can only add it to the outside of the dropouts since the inside is already spoken for.
Is the dropout surface chrome, painted, bare metal...?
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Old 02-20-11, 12:24 PM   #16
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I do all my own mechanical work, so my bikes are in tip-top shape. Obviously, I have complete faith in my work. And obviously, I have just jinxed myself.
Let's hope not

About the only thing I do to my bikes are clean them and minor things like changing saddles or pedals....I leave the rest to the LBS as I have no mechanical skills.
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Old 02-20-11, 12:54 PM   #17
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I feel guilty. I'm going to go oil my chain.
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Old 02-20-11, 09:10 PM   #18
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My bikes are entirely loved and supportive. they sometimes get jealous of who gets ridden. It isn't always fair.

I have overheard them airing their doubts about the rider/owner. They think I am loosing it somewhat. Where do they get that?
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Old 02-20-11, 09:26 PM   #19
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Hearing voices may be part of being over 50.
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Old 02-20-11, 09:45 PM   #20
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A bike cannot be trust worthy or supportive unless it will toss a rider off that tries to rip it off or comes home after getting away. Otherwise it is just a tool and the owner is responsible for how dependable it is because of service and preventative maintenance. All of my bikes are as dependable as I can make them.
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